Banks trusted by the majority, but supermarkets and social networks least trusted
Consumers who regularly bank, shop and pay online, admit they do not trust the companies they do online business with, according to new research from information security company, Integralis (http://www.integralis.com) looking at consumer attitudes to online security. In fact, one in four (25 per cent) of all respondents in the nationwide survey of 1,000 consumers said that they do not trust anyone to hold their personal details securely online.
This lack of trust even extends to supermarkets and online retailers. Although over half of all consumers now do their grocery shopping online every week, less than a quarter (24 per cent) trust supermarkets to hold their data securely, and only around a third (36 per cent) trust online retailers like Amazon and eBay with their personal details.
While nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of consumers trust their bank the most when doing financial transactions online, 22 per cent trust online payment systems like PayPal above other options, and fewer than one in 10 trust a credit card provider the most.
Consumer attitudes to social networking and smartphone security
Despite the popularity of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, it seems that many of us still do not trust them to hold our personal details securely online. A worrying 68 per cent of survey respondents admitted they do not trust any social network to hold their information securely, despite nearly half of them using them every day. Social networks topped the list of ‘least trusted organisations’ (32 per cent) followed by online gaming sites and loan companies.
Facebook was the most trusted site, by 23 per cent of consumers, followed by YouTube, Twitter and Google+ (9 per cent each). Despite these security fears, over a third of social network users (37 per cent) do not know how to change privacy settings for all of the sites they use.
Consumers’ lack of trust also extends to mobile devices, with nearly half concerned that smartphones and tablets are less secure than PCs and laptops – only around one in ten believe they are more secure. Despite this, over half of smartphone users (53 per cent) admit they do not regularly update the security settings on their mobile phone.
Despite fears about online security and privacy, it seems that most consumers are happy to rely on traditional methods like passwords as the best way to stay safe online. Over half (55 per cent) believe that having one strong password is the best way to protect their privacy online, above other more secure technologies, like secure ID tokens, SSL padlocked entry to personal information, data intrusion software, encryption and even a combination of security options.
According to Mick Ebsworth, Information Security Consulting Practice Director at Integralis: “While UK consumers love going online to do their banking, shopping and social networking, there’s an intrinsic lack of trust in the sites they’re using. Although many banks and retailers are putting in place more robust security and privacy systems to encourage more of us to go online, it’s right to be cautious about where your personal information is and how it’s being used.”
Online Data Security Top Tips:
- Use different passwords across different websites. If you do use the same password, change it as soon as possible.
- Use the privacy settings in social networking wisely to thwart an attempt to work out your password through your interests, or gaining your trust through social engineering.
- Keep a record of where you register account details, such as PayPal. This can get out of control very quickly and quite often no further authorisation is required when making purchases.
- However convenient, do not save username and password details on shared computers.
- Entrust as little as possible to online retailers – if you get the option do not store credit/debit card details on their sites.
- Check your statements for suspicious transactions, which you cannot identify. Remember that very small transactions are just as important as large ones, as they could indicate fraud.
Notes for editors:
About the research
Integralis commissioned market research company, Vanson Bourne, to survey 1,000 consumers across the UK during February/March 2013. The survey titled ‘Consumer attitudes to online data security’ was broken down equally between male and female and by age groups (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55+).
Additional findings in the survey:
- Tasks performed online weekly or more often: Accessing bank accounts (79 per cent) was top choice, followed by using social networks (65 per cent), grocery shopping (57 per cent) and reading newspapers/magazines online (52 per cent).
- Consumers regard the biggest online threats as identity theft (76 per cent), viruses/malware (61 per cent) and scam emails (51 per cent).
- Around one quarter (27 per cent) trust social networks to hold specific personal information like date of birth, mother’s maiden name and marital status, but over half (51 per cent) do not trust them with any personal information.
- When using social networks, 67 per cent of consumers provide access to close family and friends or “friends of friends” only – with just one in twenty allowing access to “people I find interesting”.
- Most consumers put personal apps on their own smartphones (71 per cent) as well as work phones (62 per cent), potentially exposing them and their companies to serious security risks.
Infographic and summary report available upon request.
About Vanson Bourne:
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Our reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis, is founded upon rigorous research principles and our ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit www.vansonbourne.com
Integralis provides IT Security and Information Risk Management solutions on a global basis. We deliver a portfolio of managed security, business infrastructure, consulting and technology integration services. We help organisations lower IT costs and increase the depth of security protection, compliance and service availability. Integralis is headquartered in Ismaning, Germany and part of the NTT Communications Group, owned by NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation), one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. For more information, visit www.integralis.com.
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